VC Inaugural Lecture and other updates

08 April 2021 | Campus Announcement

Dear colleagues and students

The first Vice-Chancellor’s Inaugural Lecture of the year is scheduled to take place this month. Read more about this and other updates in this week’s campus announcement.

1. Inaugural Lecture: Professor Isabelle Ansorge

Professor Isabelle Ansorge will deliver the first Vice-Chancellor’s Inaugural Lecture in 2021. The virtual lecture will take place on Wednesday, 14 April at 18:00 through the Microsoft Teams platform. The lecture, titled “Teaching the many (50) shades of blue – while the world is changing its shade”, is sure to be eye opening. Professor Ansorge is the first female head of the Department of Oceanography at UCT. As one of the masterminds and teachers behind the SEAmester programme, she will focus on the challenges and successes experienced over the past five years. SEAmester is a floating style university where postgraduate students from all over South Africa are trained on board South Africa’s polar research vessel, the SA Agulhas II.

2. Daily screening: Higher Health app

Staff and students who need to come to campus may continue to use the Higher Health app until 15 April 2021. This is due to the setup of access devices at campus checkpoints, to assist people who do not have smartphones with the UCT Health App. Staff and students with smartphones are strongly encouraged to use the UCT Daily Screening system. From 15 April, all UCT staff and students entering campus will need to sign into the UCT Health App, either on their own phones or at the access terminals at the campus check points. Students who do not have smartphones will be assisted by security at the checkpoints.

3. Race Writing Workshop  

As part of the Inclusivity Strategy, UCT is currently implementing a Dismantling Racism Strategy. This strategy focuses on understanding how systemic and institutional forms of racism manifest in order to produce recommendations for change. Professor Rozena Maart, in collaboration with the Office for Inclusivity & Change and the Inclusivity Strategy Working Group, is leading a two-day workshop on writing about race. This seminar/workshop takes its cue from the book with the same title, "Race", Writing and Difference, edited by Henry Louis Gates and Kwame Anthony Appiah.

The book is a collection of essays that each delve into these three concepts via literature and literary criticism, philosophy, gender studies, Africana studies, psychoanalysis and Derridean deconstruction, among others. The workshop ­– taking place on 21 and 22 April 2021 from 13:00-15:00 – offers participants an opportunity to learn, examine and interrogate these concepts by asking them to situate their own subject location as central to the production of knowledge – thinking, speech, writing, and the imagination.

Participants are encouraged to bring questions relating to their writing projects on day two of the workshop. Please RSVP via email by 16 April 2021.

4. Rhodes scholarship launch and public lecture  

UCT will launch the #RMF Scholarship Fund and host an RMF public lecture on Friday, 9 April 2021. The fund is an initiative of the Rhodes Must Fall (RMF) Scholarship Committee as proposed by student activists at UCT. Former UCT Vice-Chancellor Emeritus Professor Njabulo S Ndebele will present the keynote lecture titled “What will rise after the fall of Rhodes?”. Emeritus Professor Ndebele chairs the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Mandela Rhodes Foundation.

5. Online zero-data resource for onboarding and navigating postgrad studies

The Office for Postgraduate Studies, together with members of the Postgraduate Online Task Team, has launched a suite of videos and resource sheets that provide postgraduates with key information about the wide range of services available to them at UCT.

While the opportunity to pursue postgraduate studies full-time is indeed a privilege, it is also often a potentially lonely and seemingly complex journey to get to the finish line. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this experience and highlighted the need for postgraduates to redefine their engagement with their studies, particularly those new to UCT and/or who are first-time postgraduates.

The videos have been packaged to encourage postgraduates to understand their community, to make them feel welcome and help them navigate their postgraduate journeys successfully, especially considering the changed study environment they may be part of.

Postgraduates starting and/or continuing this year will get tips and advice from watching these videos for launching their 2021 studies and research. They can also access the Postgraduate Hub homepage regularly for further and updated information regarding a wide variety of events/programmes.


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